How to Get Started with Linux

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Here are five things you need to know before you decide to try a Linux Distro. Don’t mistakenly assume it will be an easy switch for you. Any time you change to a completely new Operating System, there will be a trial period, as you get used to it.

  • Linux is not Windows, or Mac OSX. It requires a learning curve as anything else. New users need to take a lot of there Windows/Mac habits and set them aside when they use Linux for the first time.
  • There are well-developed, open source software applications that are available for Linux. Just because the Windows/OSX version doesn’t exist on Linux doesn’t mean there isn’t an application available that would complete the same task. Remember, you might find a application that you like a lot better then what your used to.
  • Choose the Linux Distribution that is right for you. Just because it’s the most popular, doesn’t mean it is the choice for you. There are many Linux Distributions that have been developed for certain functions. For example maybe you what a good Linux Distro to create media with then you might want to look at Medibuntu or Studio 64. If you need server functionality you would want distro’s such as Ubuntu Server or Red hat. For those of you that are just looking for a good desktop distribution to do daily tasks there are distro’s such as PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, Simply Mepis, etc. Another example is for those of you running on older hardware, you might want a lighter weight distribution such as Xubuntu, Mepis Anti X, or Mint Linux. Once again choose whats right for you. Remember that is the wonderful thing about Linux, it offers a selection choice that cannot be rivaled by any other OS on the planet.
  • There is always a fix to something in Linux. Just because it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean its broken. Now I’m not talking geekiness here. There are a lot of time when a problem arises such as applications not working because its missing a certain application, or file that it needs. The best solution to this is going on Google, or to the Distributions Forums, Support or Wiki’s page. Here you can find a lot of good information to fix these issues.
  • Lastly and most importantly: when it comes to Linux, it requires patience. Don’t give up. There will be days when you will get so upset with Linux that you want to just uninstall it. Take time, relax and sleep on it. I have figured out many issues just by taking time away from my Linux Machine and just thinking about it for a bit.

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